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December 2, 2023 11:45 AM

Published by Cricket Wellington

The squad travels to Palmerston North today in preparation for a tough test against the Central Stags, who are the reigning Ford Trophy champions.

Ollie Newton rejoins the side after he sat out Round 2 to manage his workload, providing the Firebirds with the deepest pace lineup they’ve had all season.

After a difficult first two rounds, the Firebirds are looking to get on the right track with a win against their closest geographical rivals.

Troy Johnson was the leading run-scorer for Wellington in Round 2, putting on a handy 57 in difficult conditions. Coming off the back of a 2022-23 summer that was self-described as subpar, Johnson’s form is rounding back into shape at the start of this summer.

Ben Sears was the pick of the bowlers in Hamilton, taking 2/17 in his six overs, keeping the pacers’ strong run of form going.

Adam Milne picked up 5/24 in Round 1 of the Ford Trophy, with Logan van Beek also picking up a couple of wickets in that same game.

With Newton’s inclusion in the squad, bowling coach Azhar Abbas has a plethora of options to pick from, also including Nathan Smith, who is the Plunket Shield’s second-top wicket taker at the break in play.

Muhammad Abbas is unavailable for selection due to the same hand injury that has kept him out of action the last week.

The Firebirds will take on the Central Stags at Fitzherbert Park in Palmerston North on Sunday the 3rd of December, with the first ball to be bowled at 10:30am.

Live scoring and streaming will be available on the NZC website.


Nick Kelly (C)

Nick Greenwood

Troy Johnson

Callum McLachlan

Adam Milne

Ollie Newton

Tim Robinson

Ben Sears

Gareth Severin

Nathan Smith

Logan van Beek

Peter Younghusband

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